The Guest Book is expired.
John Henken, age 86, died peacefully on June 13, 2012, at his home, surrounded by his loving wife and family members, in Arlington, WA.
John was born to parents Albert and Elena Henken in Waupun, WI, on March 22, 1926. His family moved to Lynden, WA, when he was six months old. Wherever John lived, he represented a strong commitment to the community and was known and loved for his pranks and the many jokes he told. He served as president to many organizations including the Mt. Vernon Lion's Club, where he coached the Lion's Club Little League for five years. He repeated often the joy he felt when a child caught their first ball in a game. While his daughter, Heidi, was a Camp Fire Girl, he served as President of the Samish Council of the Camp Fire Girls and went on to serve on the National Camp Fire Girl's Finance Committee. He received the Guilck Award, the highest award given in this organization. He served eight years as Chairman of the Mt. Vernon Park Board and was a member of the Mt. Vernon Elks' Club.
After moving his family to Arlington, he continued his strong commitment to the community by serving as President of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. He joined the Arlington Rotary Club in 1981 and served as its president in 1988-89. John was part of the group that went up to Canada to study how a Rotary Club's "Duck Derby" was done. He and Mike Jarboe chaired the first race which was held during the town's 4th of July celebration. John was always one of the top sellers of Duck Dash tickets. In 2001 he was the top selling member. When he was physically no longer able to sell tickets, his brother, Al Henken, sold Duck Dash tickets for him. John could always be found in town on the 4th participating in the Arlington community activities, especially the Duck Dash. When John could no longer make it to meetings, the Board quickly moved to make him an honorary member. He was also made an honorary member of the (Order of the Duck), usually reserved for those who have sported the duck uniform. John always wore his Disney duck hat while selling tickets.
He served as President of the Washington State Good Roads and Transportation Association and spent many hours with Pat Pittson attending state wide meetings to make sure the monies were spent on our local highways such as SR 530 to Darrington and SR 9.
John attended church at Mount Vernon St. Paul's Episcopal. where he once taught Sunday school. Many times John mentioned how he also taught his Sunday school class to read during that time.
One of John's favorite memories was when he and Mylene traveled to Holland to meet the Henken family. The family had not seen one another for 95 years and by making that connection, the Henkens from America and Holland have continued visiting back and forth enriching all their lives. During John's final illness at home, he was able to connect with his relatives in Holland through Skype.
John served with the Naval Reserve from 1947 to 1952 where he was honorably discharged. He graduated from the Lynden High School and started selling automobiles for his brother, Frank. One of his first car dealerships was N.E.W. Car Sales and his business partner was John Collins; this is where he was give the name "Big John" and his partner was known as "Little John". John tried selling real estate at one point but selling cars and attending car auctions always drew him back. He was General Manager for Blade Chevrolet for many years until he decided to open his own dealership. He and his former wife, Mona, operated John Henken Chevrolet from 1974 to 1994, when he sold his dealership to Dwayne Lane. He traveled to many places with friends/customers by meeting his quotas set by General Motors. After selling his business to Dwayne Lane, John relocated the RV business to the Arlington Air Park on 172nd St. in Arlington, WA. He retired in 2008 at which time he turned it over to his son, Ron Henken.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Elena Henken; his brothers, Frank, Gerritt, and Arnold; his sister, Johanna; and son-in-law, Keith Kilmer.
He is survived by his wife, Mylene; his daughter, Heidi Henken, Tiffany Henken; and his son, Ron (Wendy) Henken; grandchildren, Grace, Lyla, Jesse, Audrianna; step-children, Tiffanie (Ken) Kilmer Pearson, Michelle (Kenton) Gidewall, Dana (Michelle) Borgquist, Kevin (Molly) Borgquist, and Brian (Becky) Borgquist; as well as step-grandchildren, Nigel, Kyle, Tristan, Beau, Alyssa, K.C, Brienne, Drew, Sydnee, Preston, Parker, Tyler, Austin, Blaze and Bryce.
He is survived by brothers, Edward Henken of Bellingham, Ernie (Velma) Henken of Bellingham and Al (Margie) Henken of Arlington, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. John will long be remembered by his family and those lives he touched.
A memorial service in his honor will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 415 South 18th Street, Mount Vernon, WA. Also an Inurnment at St. Paul's Memorial Garden with a reception following.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be given to Rotary Club of Arlington for the Cancer
or Providence Hospice and Healthcare of Snohomish County.
Published in The Herald (Everett) on June 17, 2012
Arrangements under the direction of:
Weller Funeral Home
327 North MacLeod Ave | Arlington, WA 982231323 | (360) 435-2509